Research reveals shift in buyers and sellers in central London property market

There is a real shift in the central London property market both in terms of buyer nationalities and their reasons for buying a property, new research has found.

There has been a significant increase in the number of buyers from the UK, up to two thirds in the first half of 2018 compared with less than 50% in previous years, according to buying agency Black Brick.

The agency has also seen a big change in terms of those selling properties with 66.6% of vendors from Russia and the remaining from the UK.

Other buyers include 16.6% from West Africa and the same percentage from Saudi Arabia, suggesting that they continue to see London as a good property investment.

‘We believe that the rise in UK buyers is due to the British being knowledgeable about what’s happening in the UK economy and politically, and able to take a view,’ said Camilla Dell, managing partner at Black Brick.

‘Whilst Brexit and potential political uncertainty are certainly a factor for UK buyers, they are more comfortable about proceeding, particularly when there is a real need to move and get on,’ she added.

The Black Brick research also reveals that a considerable number of its transactions are off-market at 33.3% and all of transactions undertaken this year have been for primary homes. In 2017, half of its transactions were for this purpose and in 2016 just a quarter were purchased as a primary home.

According to Dell this complete shift in people buying second homes is a direct result of increased stamp duty and the extra 3% on additional properties. ‘The consistent rise in the number of our clients purchasing primary homes in central London indicates that clients are no longer buying for investment, or for discretionary second home reasons, they are buying to live here and choosing London as their home so they are close to work and London’s excellent schooling options,’ she explained.

The figures from Black Brick is backed up by new data from HMRC, which shows that the tax taken from stamp duty receipts has declined. The Government is collecting less stamp duty overall than before changes were introduced by previous Chancellor George Osborne, with a total of £1.987 billion raised in the second quarter of this year from receipts in England and Wales.

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